For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)
Susan Albertine
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success
202.387.3760, ext. 800

AAC&U Announces First Cohort of Faculty Fellows

As part of the new Faculty Collaboratives Project, 26 Faculty Fellows Will Advance Student Success Through Networked Innovation Hubs Across Five LEAP States

Jul 28, 2015

AAC&ULumina Foundation

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is pleased to announce the first cohort of Faculty Fellows.  Faculty Fellows will collaborate with colleagues across state systems and collaboratives in five states: California, Indiana, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.  They will share best practices for general education and lead faculty development activities to advance student achievement of key proficiencies—including those articulated in AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative and in the Degree Qualifications Profile developed by Lumina Foundation and formally released in its first edition in 2014—that are important for post-graduation success and well-being.

“We are so pleased to have this opportunity to support faculty leadership and advance student learning,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “We know that supporting and building the capacity of faculty is essential to any effort to improve student learning and success.  We look forward to learning from these new Faculty Fellows as they develop and share best practices and innovative ways to implement the LEAP vision for quality and inclusive excellence in undergraduate student learning.”

Supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation, the first phase of the Faculty Collaboratives project (2014-2017) will build the capacity of faculty to use large scale educational change initiatives to advance greater intentionality in curricular design for learning outcomes and assessment using VALUE rubrics, for general education, and for more widespread use of aligned high-impact teaching and learning practices.

The Faculty Collaboratives project is housed in AAC&U’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and led by Susan Albertine, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success.

Each state involved in the project is led by a team that includes a state liaison, a hub director, a set of Faculty Fellows, and local advisory boards.  The teams are working to build innovation hubs to serve as leadership and learning centers for all faculty and all educators, whatever their position, type of contract, or institutional type, in the state or collaborative. 

The Faculty Fellows were chosen through a selection process designed by each state team.  The Faculty Fellows will engage creatively in a variety of change initiatives, including the Lumina-supported Tuning and Degree Qualifications Profile projects, the AAC&U General Education Maps and Markers project, and the VALUE/Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Student Learning Outcomes initiatives (cosponsored by AAC&U and SHEEO, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association). The Fellows will work both with their state team and in networked communities of practice across the states.  Through the project, AAC&U will develop a library of materials and related activities useful to the hubs, creating and fueling one-stop online centers for faculty leadership and learning.

Each state has shaped its approach to the Faculty Collaboratives Project in distinct ways:  

CALIFORNIA: The project will help faculty from the different higher education sectors in California understand why and how to make learning proficiencies central in undergraduate curricula, pedagogies, assignments, and assessment practices in equity-minded ways. It will expand and strengthen networked faculty communities of practice across disciplines and sectors in order to identify student learning proficiencies for general education (GE) and majors.

INDIANA: The project will create a network of diverse faculty from across public and private institutions that will help to cultivate faculty innovation and leadership aligned with a range of proficiency-based undergraduate initiatives.  It will improve the quality of “signature” assignments through which faculty can assess student work, enhance curricular alignment between secondary and post-secondary institutions and between two-year and four-year institutions, share best practices through intrastate and interstate faculty networks, and increase the success of transfer students.

TEXAS: Through LEAP Texas, the project will focus on developing a variety of methods and tools designed to enhance undergraduate learning, with a particular emphasis on: leveraging the Texas Core Curriculum; building inter-institutional collaboration; and advocating embedded high-impact practices.

UTAH:  The project will develop curricula to improve teaching and learning in general education and hold workshops for regular and contingent faculty who teach in general education throughout the eight system institutions. It will introduce faculty to curricular models that advance the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs), the Degree Qualifications Profile proficiencies, high-impact practices, and effective teaching, learning, and assessment strategies.

WISCONSIN:  The project will integrate multiple, existing quality educational attainment initiatives, as part of the University of Wisconsin System’s LEAP Wisconsin initiative.  It will raise the currency of student learning outcomes and proficiencies as key measures of student success by engaging UW System faculty and instructional academic staff in giving students agency and self-direction, and in establishing learning environments that are high-impact, transparent, integrative, inclusive, and equity-minded.

The LEAP Faculty Fellows Selected Are:


  • Julia Balén, Title V Faculty Development Director, CSU Channel Islands
  • Christina Chavez-Reyes, Professor and Chair, Liberal Studies Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Ann Foster, Faculty, English, Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Miguel Powers, Professor, English, Fullerton College
  • Lynn Tashiro, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, CSU Sacramento
  • Paul Wickline, Faculty and Chair, Theatre Department, College of the Canyons


  • Timothy Dale, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Public Administration, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • Heidi Fencl, Professor of Natural & Applied Sciences (Physics), University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
  • Caroline Geary, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
  • Tracy Slagter, Interim Director, University Studies Program; Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • Dale Splinter, Professor of Geography and Geology, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


  • Keith Anliker, Senior Lecturer and Director, Laboratory & Curriculum Support, Chemistry, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Ange Cooksey, Senior Lecturer in Humanities, Indiana University East (IU East)
  • Elaine Cooney, Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Elizabeth Goering, Associate Professor of Communication Studies; Director of Online Certificate in Human Communication in a Mediated World, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Heather King, Assistant Professor of English, Ivy Tech Community College–Central Indiana
  • Michael Wetzstein, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University


  • Marianne McKnight, Associate Professor of History, and Associate Dean over History, Anthropology, and Political Science, Salt Lake Community College
  • Matt Morin, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Chair, General Education Committee, Dixie State University
  • Jennifer Peeples, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Utah State University
  • John Taylor, Provost Faculty Fellow for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Biology, Southern Utah University


  • Doyle Carter, Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Center for Community Engagement, Angelo State University
  • Maureen Cuevas, Director, Worden School of Social Service and BSW Director, Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Trenzio DiPaolo, Dean of Distance Education and Student Success, Dallas County Community College District, LeCroy Center
  • Jennifer Edwards, Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Vice-President for Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives, Tarleton State
  • Lana Jackson, Professor and First-Year Experience Department Chair, Amarillo College

For more information, see and

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st-century students: low-income, students of color, first-generation students, and adult learners.  Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.  For more information, logon to